Ed Boyden at MIT pioneered Optogenetics–using light to manipulate the brain. ApplySci described MIT’s latest Optogenetics chip in our post of 12/4/12. Today, at least 1,000 neuroscience groups worldwide are using Optogenetics to study the brain. Professor Boyden compares his work to that of a philosopher and is a recipient of the 2013 Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Prize. Being able to turn individual cells on and off could be powerful in finding therapies for brain disorders.
A new device will let scientists create complex patterns of activity within the brain using optogenetics. The goal is to boost the amount of information and control that current systems deliver. It could also give more flexibility to optogenetics based neural prostheses.